JICMAIL Opt-Out Processes Clarification
The new JICMAIL Levy has recently gone live for Royal Mail Advertising Mail following industry consultation in 2020 and notification of the changes by Royal Mail to all access letters contract holders in October 2020. As well as the change to a levy funding model for JICMAIL, there were also changes made to the terms of the existing Data Opt-Out process within the data sharing initiative between JICMAIL and the marketing specialist, Nielsen Media Research for the purposes of the future publication of admail information supported by JICMAIL (commonly referred to as circulation data). Both schemes are voluntary.
We appreciate that these changes raise questions against current practice, and the purpose of this bulletin is to provide clarification surrounding these two distinct processes and to highlight their different purposes.
First, the payment of the JICMAIL Levy is voluntary and there is now a process established for managing any JICMAIL Levy Opt-Outs. This process follows similar principles to the existing MASBOF levy which is also voluntary.
Separately, there is a change to the existing process for managing Data Opt-Outs from the future publication of circulation data via Nielsen Media Research.
Q&As are offered below for clarification.
Question 1. How do I opt-out of the JICMAIL Levy?
The opt-out is operated on a retrospective, calendar year basis and is only effective for the calendar year for which the claim is being made. If an Originating Customer (I.e. the Advertiser) seeks a refund of the JICMAIL Levy they must submit a written claim directly to JICMAIL, sent to The Treasurer, JICMAIL Limited, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W. Full details on the process are provided here including the specific JICMAIL forms required.
Question 2. Can an access operator or mailing agent opt-out of the JICMAIL Levy?
It must be the Originating Customer, as the levy payer, who makes the claim directly to JICMAIL. They will need to complete the Levy Opt-Out form and an Agent Authorisation letter for each mailing agent, marketing agency or postal carrier responsible for the distribution of their mailing so that JICMAIL can validate claims with the relevant suppliers who have invoiced the charge.
Question 3. If an advertiser opts-outs when will he/she receive their refund?
Refund payments will be made after JICMAIL has received the applicable levy payment(s) that Royal Mail have collected on behalf of JIC Mail and the claimed refund amounts verified. Due to the fragmented nature of the supply chain and the necessity to obtain customer data across a number of mail providers and intermediaries to validate claims, this process has been simplified for the first year of operation and will be reconciled for refunds as soon as possible after the calendar year end. This is like the MASBOF process.
Question 4. If I’m a mailing agent, should I pass on the JICMAIL Levy?
Yes, if your charges onto you customers include the costs of postage.
The JICMAIL Levy is a transparent cost which is itemised on Royal Mail invoices to their customers and should be billed onto Originating customers throughout the supply chain. The industry best practice is to specify the levy cost on all plans/proposals and detail the cost as a VAT exempt item on invoices. This is desirable across the supply chain irrespective of who is acting as a collecting agent on behalf of JICMAIL.
We recognise that there will need to be some time to adjust existing delivery systems across the supply chain for this to happen, but JICMAIL will encourage all best efforts.
We also recommend that access customers, intermediaries, and agencies in making the JICMAIL Levy explicit on all plans and proposals, monitor levy contributions for their Originating Customers as appropriate.
Question 5. Does opting-out for the JICMAIL Levy mean that I am also opting out of the Data sharing for the future publication of accurate Nielsen circulation data?
As stated above, there are two distinct opt out processes to manage, which fulfil different requirements and work independently of each other.
The JICMAIL Levy Opt-Out is for Originating Customers who elect to make a claim to be refunded the levy payments they have made in the calendar year.
The circulation Data Opt-Out is for access contract holders to manage on behalf of their Originating customers those who wish not to share their data for the purposes of publication through planned Nielsen circulation reporting for mail.
Question 6. Does it matter if I opt-out from either or both?
Both processes are voluntary but collectively, opt-outs erode the capability and ability of the mail channel to compete as a marketing channel in a multi-media digital world.
The industry will rely upon a shared commitment to support the levy to sustain the funding of JICMAIL in the provision of this essential insight and measurement data for mail effectiveness.
The equivalent circulation or competitive data has been available for years in the other media channels. For example, all television advertises and their agencies, routinely review the details of both their own and their competitors’ data in terms of advertising volume, audience delivery, timing, regionality, rate card spend data and various other campaign details. The reality is that for any Advertiser who currently uses multi-media solutions, their data is already being shared in equivalent ways for both them and their competitors in these channels and so the future publication of Nielsen market data for mail supported by JICMAIL only brings the mail channel into line with established practice elsewhere.
Question 7. Why was there a change to the Data Opt-Out process?
In 2018, at the request of JICMAIL, Royal Mail agreed to amend its Advertising Mail terms and conditions to allow the sharing of volume posting data, by brand, with Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company on an opt in basis.
Following feedback and input from the postal industry in 2020 on the process and the accountability of capturing opt out data, the process has been redesigned which now means that accountability for capturing opt out requests has moved to the access contract holder. It also means that opt out requests can now be made for a period of 12 months rather than taken on a per posting basis as previously.
This change came into effect in April 2021 at the same time as the introduction of the JICMAIL Levy and as set in out in the Royal Mail terms and conditions. Both changes were notified to all access contract holders by Royal Mail in October 2020.
Question 8. So how does the Data Opt-Out process work?
The details of the Data Opt-Out process were set out in the Royal Mail Access Letters change Notice (Number 068) and are available on the Royal Mail website here https://www.royalmailwholesale.com/access-letters
The key points are;
We are grateful to all involved in helping manage these changes that support the industry efforts to ensure the continued and growing impact of JICMAIL data in supporting the effectiveness of all advertising mail activity and making the advertiser investment in mail work as hard as possible for advertisers at this key time of economic recovery.
If you have any further questions or wish to access JICMAIL data for the first time, do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at JICMAIL. Please email Tara@jicmail.org.uk.
If you wish to find out more about the JICMAIL Levy or read about the industry support behind this change, then please view the links below: